Heal The Land Daily Devotional Archives

Devotionals By The Heal The Land Ministry

THE GOSPEL IS LIKE A GRAPE SEED

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Matthew 13:31,32 – Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

In Matthew 13, Jesus Christ taught in parables – or allegorical stories – to describe God’s Kingdom. The first parable spoke of how one enters God’s Kingdom: by hearing, receiving, and holding onto the Word of God. The second parable described how Satan will attempt to infiltrate the pre – Second Coming Kingdom of Heaven on earth – the church – with false doctrine, false religions, hypocrites, worldly people, liars, etc. The fourth and fifth parables declare God’s Kingdom to be of great value far above that of any worldly possession. And the final parable describes the Final Judgment; the acceptance by God of those who receive the gospel and are saved through Christ and the rejection by God of those who reject God by rejecting His Son Christ.

Of these, my favorite is the third parable, listed at the top. The parable of the mustard seed explains how a person grows in the Lord as His faith grows. Your obedience, knowledge, power, reliability, strength, servitude, submission, charity, ministry, prophecy, evangelism, healing … all of the gifts and fruits of the spirit will manifest, become stronger, and become more relevant in your daily life as your faith grows. For most people, when you first accept Christ in your life, there is little outward change! That is because while the eternal spirit has been made clean, the earthly body still has to catch up. At the beginning of that process, you are very likely still going to rely on your worldly earthly things to provide your body and your nature with security, comfort, and reassurance. Now, one should not beat beat himself or herself up about that fact, because it is inevitable until you learn to live and walk by faith. You are akin to someone being taken out of a modern society and placed in a primitive society (or vice versa). Until you learn the language and lifestyle, you are going to fumble around and find yourself longing for the way that things were. You will have to first learn to become comfortable with your new surroundings, then how to operate in it, and then how to use it for the advancement of yourself and others. Unless you are like the people who fail to truly receive the gospel in the first parable, pretty soon you will not have life any other way! Recall that Christ again returns to the analogy between faith and a mustard seed in Matthew 17:20, saying that one who possesses that amount can move mountains! One must consider how much smaller one’s faith is when it begins, how the faith of most Christians never gets any bigger than that, how big your faith is, how big it can get, and what you can do for your God with it!
Unfortunately, religion is the second parable! When new Christians – and many old ones – first accept Christ, what they need is reassurance, guidance, and exhortation so that their faith, dedication, and sincerity will grow. Instead, religious people do the work of Satan by doing everything that they can to destroy that faith by claiming that the spirit and the body are changed at the same time, and that immediately upon accepting the gospel you should be filled with faith and power and able to resist sin. For instance, they tell you about the great things that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and Paul did, but none of them tell you about the proving process that each of them went through before they were ready to do God’s will. They do not tell you that even Jesus Christ had to be baptized and go into the wilderness for 40 days of fasting and prayer before he was ready to start his ministry. They certainly do not speak of the regular fasting and prayer that Christ engaged in even during his ministry to maintain his connection with God and to receive fresh instructions! No, they tell you that you must be perfect immediately, and when you fall short all they do is beat you up, make you feel guilty. So, instead of going out there and taking your lumps, instead of going out there and trying and failing, instead of falling down and getting up again, instead of being beaten, whipped, cast into prison, and freed, instead of literally having to run for your life, you just “act saved.” You just “act perfect”, especially while in church. All the while, your faith isn’t growing! Meanwhile, new Christians who do not hang around religious people go out and make every single mistake under the sun, and instead of losing their faith or dying and getting cast immediately into hell, they get stronger! Indeed, during the proving process, the bigger you are, the harder you will fall. Indeed, who fell further than Peter, who not only sank when he got scared after getting out of the boat, but thrice denied Christ? If anyone fell further than Peter, it was Christ Himself! But Christ arose, and when Christ arose, He went and restored Peter to his place, commissioned him to lead the apostles and to build the church! That is exactly what Satan does not want us to hear, because it is not what he wants to happen to us. Satan knows that he cannot stop all of us from getting saved, but he knows that by instituting a system of religion that he can stymie our growth.

How can we go against Satan? The first step is to follow God, have faith, and allow him to rescue us by getting out of dodge! We Christians have to leave Egypt and go to the Promised Land. We have to leave the comfort zone of religion and religious folk and strike out on our own! Notice how so many prominent figures of the Bible, including Christ Himself, had to just get up and leave! They had to leave their father’s house, leave their land, and go to where God wanted to start them off, deal with them, and mold them! You have to realize that Amos 3:3 is correct: if you are trying to grow and serve God, you cannot hang around people who not only lack that interest, but are diametrically opposed to it, and have replaced God with some corrupt system created by man to serve man’s purposes, something that minimizes God, obscures Him, and erects barriers between Him and your heart! Do not fool yourself into thinking that you need to stay and fight for change! If you have that notion, then you have false burden! You should only do that if God has SENT you to do it! Further, how can they change unless they want to change? If they wanted to change, they would! They are in that place because that is where they want to be! They want to be dead! If they didn’t want to be dead religious folk, they would have never allowed that congregation or denomination to die in the first place, or they would have left when it died! It isn’t some great SECRET where to go if you want to live and prosper in Christ! You will know such people by their works! But when these people SEE the works and HEAR the words of true men and women of God, they reject them AND the God who sent them! Has God told you to be Moses to lead a mighty nation out of the wilderness? If not, then get yourself, your spouse, and your children out of the wilderness!

The next part is to spread the gospel ourselves. We must not only preach Christ to sinners and get them to say the Salvation Prayer, but we must then continue to help keep new AND existing Christians be freed from the clutches of religion. The entire gospel must be preached, not just that of salvation and works, but of faith, of power, of submission, of true Christliness! We must challenge people if they actually believe the whole Bible, and then we must let them know that if they do not act on that belief, then they truly do not believe! I suppose you expect me to say “I am not saying that you should go and try the part the Red Sea or anything like that but …”, and if you are, WELL YOU ARE WRONG! With God, there are no BUTS! With GOD, there is no CAN’T! With God, there is only ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE because that is what is in His Word, and if it is in His Word, it has to be true, and either all of God’s Word is true or none of it is true! Religion teaches you that only SOME of God’s Word is true! Heck, religion even allows you to pick and choose which part of God’s Word is true that you wish to believe! And which part of God’s Word will you inevitably believe? That which you can understand with your human mind and see with your eyes, and even from that you subtract that which makes you uncomfortable (such as, say, it being wrong to commit adultery, and lust is the same as adultery). It is the opposite of faith, and without faith obedience is impossible! If you have truly received the gospel, then you will know that the only reason why you cannot part the Red Sea in the Name of Jesus Christ is because it is not God’s Will for you to do it at this particular time! The only reason why the mountain will not move if you command it to in the Name of Jesus Christ is because God wants it to stay there to serve His purpose. If you have truly received the gospel, you will know that not only did Christ resurrect and ascend to the Father, but you will too! Glory Hallelujah to Christ Jesus!

Religion, no matter how conservative the theology, doctrine, or churchgoers and no matter how sincere and powerful the works, is what reduces God’s Word to empty stories, allegories, fables, and myths. It is FAITH that turns God’s Word alive to not only the BELIEVER, to the PREACHER, but also to the HEARER! That is right. If you are preaching God’s Word without belief, then if anyone gets touched or changed it is truly a miracle! The proof is in God’s Word. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees taught for centuries and did not change a single heart. Why? Because they lacked belief. But along came Christ, WHO TAUGHT WITH THE AUTHORITY OF FAITH AND NOT AS THE SCRIBES, PHARISEES, AND SADDUCEES (Matthew 7:29, Mark 1:22) and converted thousands, and his apostles, disciples, and those that came after them converted billions more! An eloquent speaker can have a blaring microphone speaking to a large convention center whose televised sermon is carried out worldwide and then replayed and reprinted in every language in every media accessible to all, but if he lacks faith, he will not win as many converts as a faithful blind mute child passing out gospel tracts on some streetcorner on a wintry day.
How is this possible? Because the gospel is like a grape seed. A bird flying through the air will get hungry and see ripe grapes glistening with the morning dew on the vine. The bird will swoop down and fill its hunger with grapes, in the process knowingly or unknowingly ingesting seeds. The bird then flies off, its digestive process will do its business, and the bird will deposit the grape seed – along with a bit of “fertilizer” – on a goodly place (i. e. not your car windshield or new suit). There the seed will plant and grow into a new vine, which will grow new grapes. More birds will come and do the same! Pretty soon, the entire countryside is filled with grape vines. Furthermore, not all the grapes get eaten! Some will eventually become overripe, fall off the tree, plant, and grow into new vines themselves within the vicinity of the original vine. Entire vineyards will spring up not only around the original vine, but the ones all over the countryside which the birds have planted! So, all who are tired, all who are hungry, all who are thirsty, all who even are merely hot and tired and need a cool damp place of rest in the shade can come sojourn! They can eat the fruit, drink the juice, even create garments for themselves with the vines and leaves! And the best part of it all is that the bird does not even have to tend to the seed, or to the plant that results from the seed, or to the many plants that result from the first plant that resulted from the first seed. Indeed, this happens long after the life span of the bird has passed! No, the Gardener, Almighty God Himself, is the caretaker of the plant! All the bird has to do is plant the seed! But first, it has to eat it!

The seed in this parable is the gospel. The bird is the follower of Christ who practices the evangelism instructed to us by Christ Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. And the plant is the Body of Christ! But in order to preach the gospel, you must first receive it yourself. When others receive it, it grows within them. They plant seeds (the fruit that falls to the ground and creates new plants), and those that they have evangelized plant seeds (the birds that plant new seeds in new fields), and their fruit also falls to the ground and create new plants. God himself takes care of the Body of Christ with all the works, churches, and so forth. And all those seeking the Gospel, all those seeking physical healing and deliverance from demon spirits, and all those who are seeking a place of rest will seek refuge in the Body of Christ. The hungry will be fed. The dead will be raised. The sick will be healed. The naked will be clothed. The prisoners will be comforted. The deaf will hear and the blind will see and those who lack knowledge will receive it.

But what makes it all come together? Faith! When the bird is flying overhead and hungry, it is not attracted by some dried up shriveled diseased blighted morsel. Even were it capable of filling the bird’s hunger without making it sick, it won’t be attractive! No, the bird would pass it up and go seek food elsewhere, maybe from a pear tree, or maybe from a vine that has seedless grapes! And that is what religion does. Religious folk may preach the Word, but they lack faith and love in doing so. Therefore, they make the Gospel unattractive, and people pass it up. They instead drive people to false religions and worldly comforts (pear trees), or to churches that may not be religious but still do not win converts or produce spiritual growth (seedless grapes). Of course, weary travelers will do the same and seek refuge elsewhere. But if you have faith, your fruit will be irresistibly beautiful, incredibly sweet, and people from all walks of life will flock to you! You won’t even have to open your mouth! You can just stand there, and the Holy Spirit will resonate through you like bass music through expensive subwoofer speakers! You can just act, and people will be won over with the love and grace of God present in what you do! Now there will be those who will see your fruit and pass it up. Or they will eat of it and spit it out. Those will include sinners, but it will especially include religious people. But that is not your problem! That is not your job! Your job is not even to seek the field where the plant is most likely to grow (a common mistake of evangelists and missionaries)! No, your job is to receive the gospel with faith and spread the gospel with the same faith, and God will use that faith to raise up plants and vineyards long after you have left the scene.

So little birds, walk by faith and not by sight. Go forth and preach the gospel with exceeding everlasting faith!

Prayer:Father God in the name of Jesus Christ, use me to preach Your Word in faith. In the name of Yeshua HaMashiach, Amen!

Deliverance:The demons that operate in this area are religion, false doctrine, false teaching, and faithlessness. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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